Recently, Diane Tran, an honor student at a Texas high school, was jailed for truancy aka missing school. The high school Junior who helps support two siblings, holds down a full time job, as well as a part time job, started missing classes a few months ago due to how heavy her plate was getting. Diane says that she was often “too tired” to go to school. Tran’s parents divorced and no longer live near her, and therefore she works hard to support herself while helping her siblings.
According to Texas law, if a student has ten or more unexcused absences within a six-month period, the school district may refer the student to a juvenile court. “In such cases, resolution of the issue is entirely in the hands of the court,” reads a statement on the website of the Willis Independent School District.
In April, Diane was warned to not miss anymore school days, and because she continued to do so, she was sentenced in open court to a night in jail and a fine of $100.
What makes this story different from others, is the fact that Tran is an extremely successful student who is enrolled in college credit courses. Besides maintaining her grades she works harder than any 17-year-old should to support her family.
When interviewed, Judge Moriarty (who passed the judgement) stated that
“If you let one run loose, what are you going to do with the rest of them? Let them go too? A stay in jail for one night is not a death sentence.”
Do you agree with the judgement, or do you think the judge should have been more lenient with Diane and not have had her arrested for missing school because of her current situation?